Indian Army is looking to buy light weight Anti-Material rifle. It is used for bunker-bursting and penetrating light-armoured vehicles in army. The need for this rifle was felt during Kargil war in 1999 when insurgents made concrete bunkers on the frigid heights of Mountains. It looks similar to the sniper rifle in appearance, But its chamber can fire more powerful cartridges and can operate at a greater range. The procurement of this rifle will strengthen the army’s overall infantry and particularly help in the operations in Jammu and Kashmir.
Indian Army wants to buy 1500 anti-material lightweight rifles, which are capable of damaging targets like battle tanks, low-flying helicopters and bunkers. Indian Army has relaunched this procurement after 8 years, earlier it was scrapped in 2008 due to kickback allegations on South African company Denel. Later, India removed South Africa’s Denel from a blacklist because investigations failed to prove corruption charges.
As per army’s Request for Information(RFI) for purchasing the rifles, weapons should have a range of at least 1.8 kilometer with a calibre of 12.7 mm/0.50. The Force wants the rifle’s weight to be not more than 15 kg to ensure the soldiers can carry it easily. Indian Army asked manufacturers to give details about the cost of annual maintenance, product support package and training of the crew.
In 2007, indigenously built Anti-Materiel Rifle “Vidhwansak” by Ordinance Factory Board in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation(DRDO) was rejected due to weight issues.